Whole Cloth

July, 2012

Whole Cloth

Maker unknown
Whole Cloth

Circa 1820-1840
Possibly made in the Hudson River Valley, New York

The fabric in this quilt’s center exemplifies what is sometimes called “American Indigo Resist.” It presents large blue motifs on a white background rather than the more usual small white motifs on a blue background. This effect was created by using “resist,” a chemical paste that would block the penetration of dye when applied to the designs.

The center panel was pieced from numerous small fragments that were likely recycled from home furnishing textiles.

In the triangular Flying Geese border, the fabric was made using a discharge process. That is when a substance—often bleach—removes pigment from a previously dyed fabric.